Billboard's Buzz On Amazing Media And OurStage

medialogoBillboard has just published a piece discussing the exciting latest developments surrounding Amazing Media, OurStage, our investors, and more:

“Former BBC executive Paul Campbell launched a new company in the United Kingdom in 2007, looking for ways to help musicians find a wider audience for their work. He established a website allowing select unsigned acts to upload their music, sell it — and keep the proceeds. Two years later, Campbell founded a radio station using a playlist built exclusively from the offerings on his site. He further developed his audience by adding a few shows carefully curated by a mix of ex-BBC and up-and-coming DJs. The result: Amazing Media, a powerful promotional machine that has become one of the A&R community’s most crucial tools for developing new talent and has helped propel the likes of Chvrches, Daughter and Alt-J to deals with major or independent labels.

Now, five years later, Campbell is launching in the United States. He has raised $9 million in funding with backing from investors including Sting, AOL founder Steve Case, producer Billy Mann, music lawyer John Frankenheimer and former EMI CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti. They’re joining a board to be run by former Shazam chairman John Pearson.

As part of its launch stateside, Amazing Media has acquired Boston-based OurStage.com for an undisclosed sum. OurStage gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite unsigned performers on the site — and allows bands to compete for the chance to tour with more established acts.”

Read more at Billboard.com.

Keith Richards Writing Children's Book

Keith RichardsI don’t know why I’m surprised. In this day and age, it seems musicians are doing just about everything, and as much as Keith Richards is probably one of the last people I’d peg to write a children’s book, it seems I’d be wrong. Billboard reports that Richards’ story, Gus & Me: The Story Of My Granddad and My First Guitar, details Richards’ own relationship with his grandfather, Gus Dupree. Illustrations will come from his daughter, Theodora Richards (ok, so that’s kind of sweet), and the book will be released this fall. Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro will assist in the writing, so I guess we don’t have to worry about any of that drug abuse and debauchery that appeared in his memoir, Life, popping up. Keep an eye out for Richards’ book, released on Little Brown Books For Young Readers this fall.

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'American Idol' Is Nothing Like Coca-Cola

american idolBillboard today has a piece regarding the highs and (more recently) lows of American Idol and the show’s upcoming season. It rather sadly exposes the whole production as a microcosm of the floundering, old-school end of the music industry. The players are scrambling behind the scenes to figure out why ratings plummeted in later seasons, changes are being made, and the faces of the show are desperately trying to make us remember Idol‘s former glory as a ratings bonanza and a legitimate factor in the music industry. Harry Connick Jr., a former mentor and now judge on the show (along with Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban), says:

Remember when they came out with new Coke and everybody was upset by it? It couldn’t have teed up the return of Coke Classic any better. When Coke Classic came out, it exploded even bigger than it was before because it created this void and people missed it. And I think that’s what this year can potentially do for this brand. People sort of missed their classic ‘American Idol.’ And it’s back.

Yeesh. New executive producer Per Blankens, who had great success running the Swedish version of the show, similarly stresses a “back to basics” formula. We think that this is the best show there is — the original that’s inspired others,” he says, “so it’s not that viewers necessarily want that big gimmicky change in order to come back to the TV couches. They want to see the show they’ve grown to love.
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Taylor Swift Teases New Album Details

After taking home the 2013 Artist of the Year trophy at this year’s American Music Awards, Taylor Swift is already dropping hints about her follow up to 2012’s Red.

Speaking to Billboard associate director of charts Keith Caulfield, Swift said, “We got a lot already. There are probably seven or eight [songs] that I know I want on the record. It’s really ahead of schedule for me. I’m just stoked because it’s already evolved into a new sound, and that’s all I wanted. And I would have taken two years to make that happen, but it just kind of happened naturally, so that’s all I could really ask for.”

Swift also took home the awards for Country Album of the Year and Favorite Female Country Artist.  Check out the full list of winners here.

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Kenny Chesney Tops Billboard With 16th Studio Album

Country star Kenny Chesney woke up this morning to learn that his sixteenth studio album was the most popular album in America. I cannot begin to know what the feels like, or what it’s like to write sixteen albums worth of material, but I bet he has a smile on his face.

Life On A Rock 153,000 copies in its opening week, bumping Michael Buble’s To Be Loved out of the top position. The release is not Chesney’s first number one, but selling 150k in a week in 2013 is worthy of a standing ovation in its own right.

You can view the top 10 albums of the week below. Chesney may want to enjoy his reign while it lasts because next week the star-studded soundtrack for The Great Gatsby hits the charts and it hasn’t left the top of iTunes in 3 days. (more…)

Fall Out Boy Debut At #1; Release Letter To Fans

The return of Fall Out Boy has been impossible to avoid since PropertyOfZack first broke the news in late January. The band has essentially graced every stage they could find, especially if there were cameras nearby, and now they have a new #1 album to add to their growing list of accolades.

Billboard has revealed the boys from Chicago have topped the best-selling album charts by moving 154,000 units of Save Rock And Roll in its first week. This number inched out fellow Chicago native Kid Cudi who charted #2 with his latest, Indicud. (more…)